Receiving Corps Strengthened Through Draft

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The Baltimore Ravens set records last year with their rushing attack, but their passing attack went underappreciated. Lamar Jackson led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes last season, and made great strides as a passer. His stats are especially impressive when you consider the receiving corps they had.

First-round draft pick Hollywood Brown dealt with a foot injury and was a rookie, Willie Snead is a proven slot receiver but is not a world beater and Miles Boykin was another rookie. The Ravens receiving corps needed improvement, with GM Eric DeCosta selecting two receivers in the third and sixth round this year. Let’s project the depth at the position heading into training camp.

Hollywood Brown Ready to Lead Receiving Corps

Hollywood Brown has made waves this off-season with his workout videos, including a video of him catching a ball he chased from a jugs machine. After undergoing surgery to remove a screw from his foot, Brown feels confident going into the 2020 season.

He’s commented on how it is limiting his speed, and with a full season of experience, expect big things from him this year. He’s a legit deep-threat with 4.3 speed and proved in his debut game how dangerous he can be. The Ravens run-heavy offense puts defenses in uncomfortable positions defending the run, allowing Jackson to exploit this with Brown’s speed. His seven touchdowns last year attest to this. If the off-season hype is to be believed, expect a much-improved Brown this season.

Hollywood Brown Ravens
Hollywood Brown had an impressive rookie season, but looks set for a breakout campaign in his second year.Photo: Baltimore Ravens

Miles Boykin to Step Into Second Receiving Role

The Ravens have overhauled their wide receivers in the past two years. Hollywood Brown was the much-publicized first-round pick, with Miles Boykin being the third-round selection. Boykin has good speed at 4.42 seconds but is not a burner like Brown. Boykin’s role is more of a possession receiver, able to catch the difficult passes.

His rookie year saw limited production with, 13 receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns. The Ravens feel confident in Boykin’s ability and he should make the number two receiver role this season. It’s hard to determine his ceiling with a limited production, but clearly Baltimore feels strongly he can thrive in this offense.

Miles Boykin Ravens receiving
Miles Boykin had a limited rookie campaign, but Baltimore feels confident he can become a reliable receiving threat in year two. Photo: Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Willie Snead The Veteran Receiving Presence

27-year old receivers would be seen as entering their prime in most NFL locker rooms, but in Baltimore Snead is the veteran presence. The Ravens have drafted five receivers in the past three years, and have one of the youngest wide receiver corps in the NFL. Snead is a good slot presence and is able to catch the difficult middle-of-the field passes.

Snead’s production almost halved last year, but set a career best with five touchdowns. He can provide experience to the talented young receiver group, and provides a steady presence in the slot.

Willie Snead Ravens receiving
Willie Snead is an experienced presence in Baltimore, and is a good slot option in this offense. Photo: Cecil Whig photo by Scott Serio

The Incoming Rookies

Baltimore selected Devin Duvernay in the third-round, along with James Proche in the sixth-round. Duvernay is a speedy 4.39 receiver to match his sure hands. He dropped one pass in four years at Texas and projects as a versatile weapon for this offense. He can line up on the outside and scare opposing defenders with his straight-line speed, or he can be a slot weapon and safety blanket for Jackson.

Proche projects more as a slot-specific receiver, capable of catching the difficult passes over the middle of the field. He led college football in receptions last year and can prove to be a reliable target for Jackson.

Devin Duvernay receiving Texas
Devin Duvernay has both speed and sure hands. He will likely earn a role in this offense and his versatility will make him a great mismatch option. Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Receivers Hoping to Earn a Role

Chris Moore was drafted by the Ravens in 2016, and has earned a limited receiving role. He has become a special teams ace, something the Ravens really value. Moore’s versatility as a backup receiver and special teams player explains why they signed him for another year. De’Anthony Thomas is another reserve receiver who was signed by the Ravens last October for his return abilities.

Jaleel Scott was fourth-round pick in 2018, but has struggled to make an impact in Baltimore. Injuries have hampered him, and with so many recent draft picks at receiver, he may struggle to make the 53-man roster. Antoine Wesley went undrafted in 2019, spending the year on the Ravens practice squad. He also needs a big training camp to make the final roster.

Jaylon Moore and Michael Dereus are part of this years undrafted free agent crop, and both will need to really impress in training camp against stiff competition to make the roster. Both could end up as practice squad players as they adjust to NFL competition.

Chris Moore receiving
Chris Moore has earned his role as a special teams ace and reserve receiver. With so many young receivers, his future may feature only special teams. Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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That wraps up my examination of the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver corps, let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below.

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